Latin America & Caribbean

Cuba gives green light to US cruises

A cruise ship near Old Havana neighbourhood on March 21, 2016 Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Cruise ships from the US will now be able to sail to Cuba

Cuba has removed a ban on Cubans entering or leaving the country by sea, clearing the way for a resumption of cruises from the US.

The Cold War era rule previously stipulated that Cubans could only enter or leave by plane.

Cruise operator Carnival has been given permission by both governments to run ships between Florida and Cuba.

But the restriction meant it could not take bookings from Americans of Cuban origin.

That led to protests and the company said it would postpone its cruises unless Cuba changed its entry policy.

What is behind the US-Cuba thaw?

How times are changing in Havana

Image copyright AP
Image caption The ban on people of Cuban origin sparked protests

The first US cruise to Cuba in 50 years is due to set sail from Miami on 1 May with up to 704 passengers on board.

Last month Barack Obama became only the second US president in history to visit Cuba, after Washington and Havana restored diplomatic relations last year.

Days later, the Rolling Stones played their first concert in the country.

Image copyright AFP/Getty
Image caption Cruise operator Carnival is due to begin sailing to Cuba in May

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